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Bangladesh releases RFP for MALE UAV
February 22, 2018
An Iraqi CH-4 UAV armed with AR-1 air-to-ground missiles. Photo credit: Iraqi Ministry of Defence

Bangladesh releases RFP for MALE UAV

The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has released a request-for-proposals (RFP) for an unmanned aerial system (UAS) for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.

The UAS is to comprise of a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), ground control station (GCS), sensor subsystems and air-to-surface munitions.

“BAF has identified the need for UAV for … [ISR] to meet future challenges and … to fulfill the requirement of the Forces Goal 2030,” the BAF stated, adding, “Suitable UAV was an outstanding requirement since the advancement of defense technology and its future implication in BAF.”

In its RFP, the BAF is requiring the UAV to have a minimum cruise speed of at least 140 km/h and a loiter speed capped at 140 km/h (or lower). The UAV must have a maximum speed of 200 km/h or more and a flight ceiling of approximately 20,000 ft, if not higher.

With a minimum payload of 120 kg across three hardpoints, the UAV is to have a range of 1,000 km. If undertaking an ISR mission, the UAV must have a minimum endurance of 15 hours. When armed with air-to-surface munitions (through two of three hardpoints), the endurance must be at least nine hours.

In terms of the communication data-link between the GCL and UAV, the BAF is requiring that the data-link have a minimum range off 200 km. The bidder must also include available electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR), synthetic aperture radar with ground-moving target-indication (SAR/GMTI) and precision-guided air-to-surface munitions (i.e. air-to-ground missile and precision-guided bomb).

Dhaka is implementing a wide-ranging modernization effort of its armed forces. Bangladesh’s active bids include, among others, 8 to 12 new multi-role fighters, two anti-submarine warfare helicopters, a new 4×4 light armoured vehicle platform and, most recently, a MALE UAV.

Notes & Comments:

The specified UAV will provide the BAF the ability to form a persistent ISR coverage net with time-sensitive targeting and targeted-strike capabilities. It could provide an important boost for its border control and asymmetrical operations efforts without having to commit costlier platforms, such as fighter aircraft.

Based on the BAF’s requirements, the leading UAV contenders would likely come from China and Turkey.

In the latter, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) can offer the Anka, which has a payload of 200 kg, service ceiling of 30,000 ft and endurance of 24 hours. TAI can also include Aselsan and Roketsan sensors and air-to-surface munitions, respectively, providing a complete package to the BAF.

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) can offer several options, such as the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) CH-4 and the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group (CAIG) Wing Loong II. The CH-4 and Wing Loong II have a payload of 345 kg and 400 kg, respectively, and endurance of 40 hours and 32 hours, respectively. AVIC can also leverage a portfolio of precision-guided air-to-ground weapons and EO/IR and SAR/GMTI equipment. CASC has also begun marketing the CH-5, its largest MALE UAV with a payload of 1,200 kg and endurance of 60 hours.

  • Steve

    This is probably to engage BD nationals trying to cross into India and use lethal force on them. I’m sure they asked for Indian approval before RFP. Possibly also to keep watch on the Myanmar border to identify refugees coming in. Have we sold BD anything recently? I think we gifted a few F-7 at some stage.

    • Rolexer

      You are damn right steve. Damn right. Not just approval for RFP but i wouldnt be surprised if India extends a loan to BD or simply dishes out money in the garb of “economic assistance” to help it acquire those turkish or chinese technologies. After all the purpose could be to get your hands on the latest UAVs being offered by Turkish or Chinese companies, which could find its way (or has already found its way) to Pakistan some years down the line. These are some serious developments as Steve and Jigsaw are discussing about it. Pakistan should take note and rush its PM or Gen. Bajwa immediately to Turkey {Even if India has got nothing to do with it, the paranoia of some regarding Indian involvement in almost everything is outright amusing}.
      But what is most interesting is how you and your friend (Jigsaw) are taking so much interest in this development related to BD. While your friend upvotes your comment, just a few days back you people were busy mutually agreeing that BD is not to be “accorded any importance as it is equal to Nepal or other smaller insignificant countries in the region”. Sigh. I wonder what could be the source of such contradictory reactions over a matter of days regarding BD.

      • Black Bird

        We don’t need your steel body 4th gen ( actually 3rd gen ) under powered single engine aircraft. sell it to some muslim killer country with loss while most revenue goes to China. We can buy twin-engine fighter and better trainer like Diamond series from Austria. Neither we need your Chinese helped Al-Zarar (upgraded Type-59) as we are upgrading our own as Durjoy. Also we are buying new light tanks so thanks for the offer but not interested. :p And it’s funny when you are the one mocking my country all over the comment giving me advice about politeness.

    • Black Bird

      Bangladesh never took any any of their F-7 as gift from China. And no air forces uses combat drone to prevent illegal crossing or refugee entering. Where did you get that nonsense Indian approval or funding from?? Bangladesh-India does not maintain that kind relation what other countries think or keep between themselves. Enough with your silly conspiracy fantasy theories. Get some sleep.

    • Black Bird

      China never gifted any F-7 to BD. No one uses combat drone to prevent illegal border crossing or refugee. And BD don’t need India’s approval nor it’s funding to buy UAV. Enough with your silly conspiracy theories.

  • Awais

    @bilal, doesnt the MTCR caps the range at less than 300 km? with all the potential sources either part of MTCR or voluntarily abiding by the rules, how could Bangladesh get MALE UAVs that fulfill the capabilities as mentioned in RFP?

    • The UAV’s actual range is immaterial as long as the data-link (for controlling the UAV) is capped to 300 km. In its CH-4, CH-5, Wing Loong II and Cloud Shadow marketing, AVIC caps its data-link system to 280 km, even though the UAVs can fly much farther than that. However, there might be a way around that if the end-user somehow gets a SATCOM separately and connects the UAV with their ‘own’ SATCOM data-link.

  • sami shahid

    Turkey & China should not sell drones to Bangladesh. China should sell CH-3 drone but it should not sell CH-4 & 5. Turkey shouldn’t sell its Anka & Anka 2. But I believe they will because Pakistan recognises the state of Bangladesh which actually it shouldn’t !

    • Black Bird

      They don’t care what you babble about. Who the hell are you talk about my countries matter??

      • Steve

        Actually Mr Shahid was giving his opinion about BD. A lot of people are giving unwanted opinions about Pakistan. Of course everyone is entitled to an opinion about any country, and others should have the courage and maturity to listen. That what a forum is.

        • Black Bird

          Lecturing about maturity, courage, politeness doesn’t suits you. And freedom of speech doesn’t give a guy speak silly or insulting things about any country.

          • sami shahid

            I wasn’t insulting Bangladesh. In my opinion Bangladesh doesn’t require drones like CH-4-5 & Anka and Anka 2. Secondly, we Pakistani Nationals do not recognise Bangladesh and there are many reasons for that.

          • Black Bird

            What makes you think we don’t need UCAV?? It doesn’t matter what Pakistani nationals recognize or not cause your gov’t recognize Bangladesh as a independent-sovereign country. Same goes to us gov’t can’t give a damn about even if we people hate Pakistan, India, Myanmar, America, Israel, Saudis cause they have to put our country’s national, foreign and business interest ahead first.

    • Black Bird

      Bangladesh Military will continue to modenise itself even if some people like it or not.

  • Manju

    I guess they will go for Chinese CH4 because CH5 seems not yet completed and waiting an export variant which would take years. TAI could try but it’s also diplomacy that gets you a business deal these days. China would be aware that Bangladesh had invited Indian Navy to train on their Type035B submarine and Type056 Corvettes that Bangladesh bought previously from China.If that is the case then Turkey might have a chance to sell theirs if China backs off.

    • Joseph

      From what I understand Chinese military mainly uses Wing Loong series, CH series UAV is purely for export, at least for the moment. So they are probably going to be OK with it.

    • Steve

      All countries should be aware that selling to BD will mean Indians have a free run of all the tech as long as Hasina is in power. Regime change anyone? Lol

      • Black Bird

        Get some sleep. Your brain needs it. 🙂

        • Steve

          Actually friend it’s daytime here lol!

          • Black Bird

            Oh i was right then. You are a day dreamer. LOL

          • Black Bird, Steve … any further talk on this with jabs and provocation at one another will be deleted. You’ve each had your say, move on. Thanks.

          • Black Bird

            Why do you keep letting him make stupid, insulting comments about other country while you don’t let us reply him back the same. This guy is totally rude, i saw him doing the same on other post too.

          • You are free to refute him. Absolutely. But if this is going to drop to personal sledging then I will step in (on both sides). To be frank, I’ve approved every manner of sly comment as of late – e.g. China being Pakistan’s “sugar daddy” to H1B visas to supporting Muslim killers – in the hope (repeatedly incorrect) that people can learn to just move on from those they disagree with, at least sometimes.

            Boy have I been wrong … For some reason, everyone here seems to think the other person is on a state-backed agenda to cast negative narratives on other countries. Let’s all return to our collective “auqaat” (i.e. the reality that no one here is that important – including myself first and foremost) and figure that an online discussion isn’t a zero sum issue nor are those who dislike and disagree with you agents for other countries (they, like you, might be a zealous patriot or whatever).

            If you dislike someone and their points, either refute their content or move on.

          • Black Bird

            Sorry about Muslim killers comment. This arrogant, rude guy was just making me say something back like this. Never participated in this forum before. But i couldn’t resist after watching weird theories and lies about gifting F-7, india’s approval, funding, giving tech to them, training on chinese ship. I mean seriously?? People would’ve laughed and troll if this was on Facebook. But you could just relieve yourself from this by removing those mockery and insulting comments at first place. So that you don’t have to keep removing my reply and i don’t have edit it over and over again.

          • Yes – refute all of that. People having weird theories and lying aren’t against the rules here as people can express their opinions and, likewise, people are free to refute or argue against those opinions at-will. Just avoid getting personal by sliding jabs at the other person. If you’re at that point with someone, chances are others are too – no one is going to think any less of you if you ignore and move on.

          • Steve, Black Bird … any further talk on this with jabs and provocation at one another will be deleted. You’ve each had your say, move on. Thanks.

          • Steve

            Cool 😉

      • Black Bird

        Before dreaming you need to sleep.

    • Black Bird

      CH-5 is ready for exphttp://www.janes.com/article/72350/china-ready-to-mass-produce-strike-capable-ch-5-uav-says-reportort.

      Bangladesh Navy never invited Indian Navy to train on Type 35G submarine or any other ships. Cause two countries navy don’t even maintain that kind of relationship except Coast Guard.

    • Headstrong

      Any source for claiming that BN has invited IN to train on the Ming class submarines and the corvettes? Given that these are procurements from China, it is probable that PLAN personnel would be around for training and maintenance assistance. Also, the IN would hardly require training on these platforms given that they already operate submarines and corvettes (and more). If the thinking is towards getting a handle on Chinese technology, it could also be argued that it won’t be very different from Russian, which IN already operates extensively.
      On the other hand, the IN has reportedly invited BN for submarine training…

  • Black Bird

    Look at all these silly comments!! Total entertainment. LOL.

  • Black Bird

    We don’t need your steel body so called 4th gen ( actually 3rd gen ) under powered single engine aircraft. sell it to some drug smuggler muslim killer country with loss while most revenue goes to your master. We can buy twin-engine fighter and better trainer like Diamond series from Austria. Neither we need you Chinese helped Al-Zarar (upgraded Type-59) as we are upgrading our own as Durjoy. Also we are buying new light tanks so thanks for the offer but not interested. :p And it’s funny when you are the one mocking my country all over the comment giving me advice about politeness. You are damn lucky admin don’t approve slag language.

    • Stan

      Steal body where did you get that information pls enlighten us since you seam to know a lot

      • Black Bird

        Block 1 have all metal frame instead carbon fiber composite material which other modern aircrafts have nor it has better avionics like them.

  • J.Arandas

    Awww my poor steve. Getting flak from all corners!! You guys never learn. As if the liberation war of 1971 was not enough to teach you a lesson that BD is off-limits as far as Pakistan is concerned.
    Everyone makes mistakes. But committing same mistakes over and over again is called stupidity.

    • Steve

      I seem to have struck a nerve in some Indians here…as usual lol. All sorts of guys coming out of the woodwork. You need to get used to people who can robustly counter your propoganda, and are not afraid of you. A bit of rough and tumble never hurt anyone. I notice the jingoistic mention of 1971 yet again. The long term plan is to avenge that. Pakistan Zindabad!

      • Black Bird

        Awww so cute!! This guy want revenge!! How many times did you fail to do that now in total?? 4/5 times?? Still dreaming??

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